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Destination Downtown gains national Main Street accreditation

SoVaNow.com / July 21, 2014
Destination Downtown South Boston (DDSB) has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s performance standards,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs create vibrant communities by using a comprehensive strategy to preserve their historic character and revitalize their commercial districts, which helps make these great places to work, live, play and visit.”

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by the Virginia Main Street Program, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify local programs that meet ten performance standards.

These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

Gene Haugh, DDSB President, said, “We are excited about being named a 2014 Nationally Accredited Main Street Community and meeting the 10 Standards of Performance. Receiving National Main Street Program status is a prestigious achievement and we’re extremely proud of the work that is accomplished by our volunteer board and committee members.”

The 2014 Accreditation is based on DDSB’s milestones and happenings in 2013. These milestones include:

receiving a $25,000 Downtown Improvement Grant for assisting in the $3 million market rate New Brick Historic Lofts housing project in downtown,

partnering with the town government and the South Boston Industrial Development Authority to receive $100,000 in Industrial Revitalization Funds for the purchase of the John Randolph Hotel,

receiving a $2,500 Mini-Downtown Improvement Grant for new street banners,

helping to keep a downtown building from being demolished which now houses retail on the first floor and housing on the second floor,

helping downtown property owners with three façade grants.

Other milestones include partnering with the town government to apply for a CDBG Planning Grant in a Master Planning Development Project, having promotions throughout the year including First Fridays, ArtScape on Main, a Shop Tax-Free event, Movies on Main, a coat drive with Good Samaritan, a food drive with Serving Hope Food Pantry, a Summer Concert Series, the annual Harvest Festival, the annual Christmas Open House, and the South Boston Christmas Parade.

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 34 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $59.6 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 502,728 net new jobs and 115,381 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 246,158 buildings, leveraging an average of $33.28 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.



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